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“Short but enjoyable intro to Valles history” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Valles Caldera National Preserve

Valles Caldera National Preserve
39201 Highway 4, Jemez Springs, NM
866-382-5537
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Type: Nature/ Wildlife Areas, Outdoors
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Attraction details
Owner description: This 89,000 acre National Preserve is in the heart of one of three super volcanoes in the United States. Known for its expansive high mountain valles, large elk herds, and diverse history, the Preserve is a favorite among the locals when friends and relatives are in town. If you are in New Mexico you do not want to miss this. Recreational Opportunities This experiment in public land management focuses on the quality of your experience instead of visitor volume. Bring your camera and enjoy the expansive views. If you only have a couple of hours, be sure to check out the one hour Magma to Magpie van tour.Activities by the Season:Summer Season; hiking (guided and self-guided), fishing, van tours (wildlife, geology, archeology, history, artist's) , mountain bike trail riding, equestrian trail riding, star gazing, a marathon, an archery event, elk festival, photography toursFall: Hiking, van tours, fishing, and elk huntingWinter: skiing, snowshoeing, sleigh rides, moonlight skiing and snowshoeing, and a very unique New Year's Eve celebrationSpring: Hiking, van tours, and turkey huntingSeasons AccessibleObservation points and two free hiking trails are open year round. Other activities are available 7 days a week May to October and Friday through Sunday from November to MarchFees: Fees vary based on activity. Reservations are available, but are not required.Pet Friendly NotesDogs on leashes are welcome at the staging areas, but are prohibited elsewhere on the Preserve.Registered assistance animals are allowed on the Preserve.
Albquuerque New Mexico USA
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Short but enjoyable intro to Valles history”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2014

Jim Trout gave us a short, enjoyable and informative tour of the ranch houses. He explained a bit of the geologic background to this natural wonder, the Valles Caldera, one of the largest calderas in America. We want to come back and do a longer tour.

Visited July 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VallesCaldera, Public Relations Manager at Valles Caldera National Preserve, responded to this review, July 28, 2014
Thanks very much for visiting and taking the time to write about your experience. Please do come back soon and spend more time with us. We have multiple van tours and a self guided road tour called the Ranch Road Ramble which you can enjoy from the privacy of your personal vehicle. We also have late afternoon/early evening wildlife tours. So please come back and bring your camera.

-Terry
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132 reviews from our community

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English first
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Awesome beauty, friendly guide”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2014

Highly recommend visiting this extraordinary natural attraction. We saw a herd of elk and very much enjoyed the tour with Jim Trout. He took the time to explain the geology and history of this wonderful spot (a formerly private ranch now operated by USDA).

Visited July 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VallesCaldera, Public Relations Manager at Valles Caldera National Preserve, responded to this review, July 18, 2014
Thanks for coming and taking the time to review your visit. The natural history attracts many visitors like yourself. We also have special geology tours and wildlife habitat tours for a deeper dive into the science and chance to enjoy even more spectacular views. Please come back for a longer visit. Terry
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Miami, Florida
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Friendly Staff & Great Tour Guide”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2014

My parents, my grown son & his girlfriend, and my husband and I took a tour with Jim Trout. He has a good knowledge of the region, the preserve's history, and volcanology. We thoroughly enjoyed it! (And only $5 a piece.) The Preserve is beautiful with gorgeous vistas. There are hiking trails. We saw mountain blue birds, barn swallows (who were feeding nestlings on a nest on the office's front porch!), elk, mule deer, and of course cows & horses. (It is a working ranch.) Oh, and lots of prairie dogs & chipmunks. The rangers were friendly and knowledgeable, as well. When we could barely make out the elk with our binoculars, they brought out the spotting scope. I would highly recommend a visit.

Visited July 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VallesCaldera, Public Relations Manager at Valles Caldera National Preserve, responded to this review, July 18, 2014
Sounds like you had a great tour and if I'm not mistaken it took just about an hour. Next time you visit you might want to take one of our wildlife habitat tours to get a closer look at the elk and outher critters who make the Preserve their home. Thank you for coming and writing such a great review. Please come again - Terry
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Top Contributor
172 reviews 172 reviews
57 attraction reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
“Saw it as we drove by”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2014

My friends and I saw this area as we drove by on our way to the Bodhi Manda Zen Center. We didn't get out of the car because our road trip was already taking much longer than we had anticipated. But the Valles Caldera was awesome to look at and the scenery really added to our trip.

I hope to some day visit this place for real.

Visited June 2014
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VallesCaldera, Public Relations Manager at Valles Caldera National Preserve, responded to this review, July 18, 2014
I'm glad you had a chance to see the Valle Grande as you passed by. Next time you're in the neighborhood plan an hour or two to come visit us. We have a one hour Magma to Magpie van tour that will give you an up close and personal look at the natural beauty of the Preserve and some of the history behind it.Thanks very much for taking the time to write your review. I look forward to your next one. -Terry
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Albuquerque, New Mexico
1 review
“WONDERFUL TOUR”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2014

On Memorial Day weekend of 2014, we took the Magma Tour with Jim Trout. He was delightful with his history and tales of the past and present. Thoroughly delightful!
I would recommend this tour wholeheartedly!

Visited May 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VallesCaldera, Public Relations Manager at Valles Caldera National Preserve, responded to this review, July 18, 2014
Thanks for visiting us. Jim does provide a wonderful oral history while you enjoy the natural beauty of the Preserve. Please come back to learn and enjoy more by taking one of our other van tours like the Wildlife Habitat Tour or Geology Tour. Meanwhile, Thanks very much for taking the time to write a review of your first trip. Please don't make it your last. - Terry
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